When a CEO defendant takes the stand in a case involving fraud they should think twice before attempting to pass the buck. Elizabeth Holmes was not the first head of a major company to be convicted of fraud, nor will she be the last. On the witness stand, Ms. Holmes tried to deflect blame onto her former vice president, her former lab director, her former board of directors, and her

As a divided nation continues to absorb the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, much more about the outcome has come into focus. The Kenosha County jurors did not rush to any type of pre-determined judgment, but carefully weighed the law and facts to reach their ultimate decision. It is also undeniable the law in Wisconsin on self-defense helped Mr. Rittenhouse, as did much of the video evidence

Corporate litigants understandably seek to have trials held in what they believe is the most favorable venue. This often means they prefer to have some type of “home field advantage” to try and capitalize on local familiarity and good graces, and avoid being cast in the trial narrative as a distant out of state corporation. With proper voir dire and a comprehensive jury selection strategy, out of town corporations can

Themes and sub-themes are crucial when trying to persuade a jury. Discrete pieces of evidence are important and key witnesses can certainly make or break a case. But when jurors get in the deliberation room, they will have in their minds a comprehensive story of the case. When jurors go through the actual verdict questions their overarching case perspective will guide them through the verdict form. This is why it

As courthouses across the country are opening up Trial Methods set out to take the pulse of the public by collecting data online from over 300 jury-eligible people from 15 counties across the country. The first part of the study was conducted in June of 2020. To supplement our knowledge-base and see how things compare to 10 months ago, the second part took place in April of 2021. These counties

There has been a great deal of speculation about the intentions of Derek Chauvin juror Brandon Mitchell, since a photo surfaced of his appearance at a march in Washington D.C. from last August. Mr. Mitchell is seen in the photo wearing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) baseball cap and a t-shirt with a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the words “Get your knee off of our necks.” Not

My blog from December 29, 2020 (sorry for the reminder I know we are trying to forget 2020) laid out reasons for getting jurors to talk about Covid-19 at the start of voir dire. My line of thinking was that everyone in the jury pool will have something to say about Covid-19, which opens up a constructive pathway for establishing rapport with jurors during the crucial early stages of trial.

When in-person trials fully resume the pandemic will be under control and prospective jurors will be confident that responding to a jury summons is a safe practice. Fast forward to when dozens and dozens of strangers are packed into a courtroom and jury selection commences. Hard to imagine now. One thing we know for sure is that when jury trials resume, each and every panelist will have lived through the

As we approach 8 months of immersion in the ever-changing “new normal” during the pandemic, my firm Trial Methods surveyed members of the public to gauge how people generally feel about being called to in-person jury duty. We also explored what people think about litigants who are essentially asking citizens to show up and resolve disputes with origins that pre-date the pandemic. The results over the last several months have

With the Covid-19 pandemic complicating in-person mock jury exercises, more jury research is being conducted online. Online focus groups and online surveys can accomplish an array of litigation objectives. Online surveys, which can reach 200 respondents in 3-4 days in some heavily populated venues, help litigants preview the venue and ascertain what arguments are the most compelling, scrutinize damage considerations and start to build a jury profile. How do online